a) Individuals with AD(H)D often need time to regroup from interruptions or sensation "overload."
b) Frustration results when trying to think and listen to someone else at the same time.
c) Unless the activity doesn't require concentration, all interruptions are "jarring" for those with AD(H)D.
d) Lots of stimulation may cause anxiety or the person may "shut down."
e) It's harder for an individual with AD(H)D to regain their train of thought, and it takes longer.
Effect of Medication:
a) Improves ability to focus and stay on task.
b) The ability to think before speaking is improved.
c) Hyperactive and impulsive behavior is improved.
d) The ability to get things done and be organized is improved.
e) Little or no effect on the ability to handle interruptions.
a) The mate may be unaware of the problem with interruptions and "overload." It's an "AD(H)D experience" - not something an individual without this diagnosis experiences.
b) AD(H)D'ers may feel guilty or inadequate, or fear being rude, if they say something about the interruption or their needs in this regard.
c) Significant other may perceive rejection because...
1) AD(H)D'er says "I have to have time for myself," "I need some space," "go away" or "leave me alone" - which can be misinterpreted by their mate as a rejection when it is really a cry for help.
2) Neither logic nor love can replace the need to "regroup" - which can put a significant strain on the relationship. Time and silence are needed.
3) AD(H)D'er may not be able to convey this concept to their mate, stating "it's hard to put into words."
AD(H)D'ers must learn to say: "I need to regroup" instead of things
"I need space"
"I have to have time for myself."
"I need to be alone"
Leland M. Heller, M.D.
Mary E. Sales, ACSW, LCSW
August 3, 2000